In recent news, a hacking and ransomware group called Egregor has reportedly gained access to Watch Dogs: Legion’s source code, along with other data from publisher and developer Crytek. This event could not come at a more inopportune time, as the action-adventure title is set to release within two weeks.
It appears that the hacking group Egregor made a ransomware program with the same name, which takes inspiration from Sekhmet, another well-known program. If you’re not entirely sure what ransomware is, it is a type of software or malware used to gain unauthorized access to a victim’s data.
Then, the stolen data won’t be given back until the hackers’ requests are met. Usually, hackers threaten to release the stolen information to the public if the victim doesn’t comply with their demands, and this seems to be the case with Egregor as well.
As mentioned, Egregor has declared that their group has the source code for the upcoming title Watch Dogs: Legion. Source code is a game’s code that comes in readable human language. It is then put together into machine code, after which you can proceed to sell it to companies or consumers.
If you leak a game’s source code, this is comparable to leaking a bakery’s special recipe for baking bread to the public instead of just selling a loaf of bread as a whole. As you can see, a game’s source code is extremely top secret.
If Egregor pushes through in leaking Watch Dogs: Legion’s source code, this could possibly lead to other companies copying the game, or it will give players the power to hack and mod the game more than ever before.
In some cases, developers themselves would release a game’s source code, such as when Electronic Arts published the source code for two Command and Conquer games. In that case, EA’s purpose was to help out modders and fans, but it’s also worth noting that they released the said code many years after the games’ release.
Based on what the group has released so far, it’s still unclear if they truly have all of Watch Dogs: Legion’s source code. Among other data, Egregor also says that they have files from Crytek, even including the data used to develop Arena of Fate and Warface.
One example of source code getting leaked was when an extensive amount of data was released from Nintendo’s private servers. As a matter of fact, this took place recently this year.
This leaked data included the Nintendo Wii’s source code. Fortunately for Nintendo, the Wii console’s moment of glory has already passed, so the leak didn’t really pose a huge threat to the company compared to if the source code of the Nintendo Switch was leaked, for example.
We have yet to see how Ubisoft or Crytek will respond to Egregor’s threat, however, it appears that the group hasn’t requested a ransom yet either. In any case, Watch Dogs: Legion is expected to release by the end of the month, so we’re all keeping our eyes peeled to see how this will all play out.